I have blogged before about my hatred for Creeping Charlie. This weed is an invasive green mist gobbling up lawn and destroying all living things in its path. That's why I was a bit perturbed when God instructed me to grow this dreaded parasite in our beautiful and delicate flower garden. This instruction from on high came in response to a time of prayer and reflection in June focused upon my panic attacks. Nobody likes to be startled, but I have noticed that I too easily slip into panic mode when surprised by a shout or when awakened by something in the middle of the night. It is as if, lurking below the surface, is an expectation of impending doom. Though I am a hopeless optimist (I guess that's an oxymoron), there appears to be some kind of hair trigger where I assume terrible tragedy is just around the corner.
So I carefully dug up a small batch of the most vibrant Creeping Charlie I could find, and transplanted it carefully with some topsoil and fertilizer in an empty spot in the garden. I watered it and then came back after a day or so only to find it dead. So I tried it again, this time attempting to care for it a little better. Within days it had shriveled up and died. On the third attempt I decided that the wretched little plant needed a path of bare ground to creep into like a snake, so I carefully cleared away the the mulch so that it could creep its way along in our beautiful flower bed. Nonetheless the very thing I can't seem to get rid of in our yard would just not grow in our garden. The sight was so funny I took a picture (above). You see a wave of Creeping Charlie advancing along the border outside of the flower bed, but just inside the bed is the open area where I could not get the cancerous thing to grow.
This past weekend I was reflecting on this experiment and I heard the Lord speak once again. "This weed won't grow in a healthy garden."
My approach to deal with the weed of panic in my life was to find the root and dig it up or to douse it with some kind of spiritual weed-killer ... some sort of prayer ministry or something that addressed the source of my fear. God was telling me to expend my energies on developing a healthy, fruitful garden. The best weed killer is a healthy garden. Tomorrow I will have my monthly retreat at St. Benedict's. My focus will be on imagining what cultivating a healthy spiritual garden might look like at this stage of life, rather than on rooting out and destroying the vestiges of fear, panic and worry.
It's so much more freeing to think about how to energize and support the healthy stuff in my life than to meditate on what I must do to attack the weeds.